In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama struck a blow for higher-ed transparency.
In his address, Obama announced the release of a new College Scorecard that, he said, “parents and students can use to compare schools based on a simple criteria: where you can get the most bang for your educational buck.”
Every school now has a federal scorecard that contains these five pieces of information:
- Graduation Rate.
- Loan Default Rate.
- Median Borrowing.
Here is what the scorecard looks like:
Federal College Search Engine
On the same page as the scorecard is a new search engine that families can use to look for schools. It may be a bit more friendly than the one on the federal College Navigator.
Here is what the new website says about the search feature:
Users can search for a college by name or by selecting factors that are important to the student’s college search (e.g., programs or majors offered, awards offered, location, undergraduate enrollment size, campus setting, etc.). To see an institution’s scorecard, click on the institution’s name in the search results. Users may remove search criteria at any time or start a new search by using the “Back to Search” button.
Giving it a Try
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to check out the ScoreCard or the new college search engine. I suspect that are so many people trying to do the same thing today that the site isn’t working properly. I’ll try again later today.
If you do get to take the site for a spin, I’d love to hear what you think of it. Transparency is good and this should only be the beginning. We need a lot more lights shone on the higher-ed industry.
Later in the day I was finally able to access the site and wrote further thoughts in my CBS MoneyWatch post:
Here are other posts on the new scorecard from The Chronicle of Higher Ed and InsideHigher Ed:
Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of the second edition of The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price.